For golfers who prefer a premium golf experience for a little more money, no course is a better choice than Prestwick
by Rob Levine
The Twin Cities must be one of the best metro areas in the country, nay world, for the public golfer. Were home to hundreds of decent-to-great public golf courses, all within an hour or two of the metro area. For the segment of those golfers who prefer a more premium golf experience for a little more money, no course is a better choice than Prestwick.
Until this year known as Wedgewood, Prestwick has some of the nicest fairways and greens weve seen all year. Add to that the floppy four-foot-stake marking the 150 yard distance on every hole, and youve got the makings of a fine course.
Like some other premium courses, Prestwick supplies a neat little book that illustrates each hole, with lots of distances, and a one-paragraph playing suggestion, which I recommend you peruse on each tee. The course winds its way gently around houses and small hills, although the houses are much farther back than you would usually find at a golf course. This gives the course a much more airy feel. One of our party did hit a ball way into the junk, over by some houses. When he put his second shot back into the fairway, there was a small ovation from a nearby porch.
Playing at 6,334 yards from the white tees, Prestwick is a course that offers numerous scoring opportunities (for the straight hitter). There are eight sub-400 yard par fours; Of the par fives, only the 519-yard number 16 is over 500 yards. The 16th is in some ways typical of Prestick. It dares you to go for the green in two, but presents you with a very difficult shot, and severe penalties for those who fail. The safe thing is a long iron off the tee, followed by two short irons to the green. The course can either play as a par 71 or 72, depending on the tee position of the 12th hole, that can either play as a 307 yard par 4, or a 176 yard par three.
The greens at Prestwick are not as agressively bunkered as some other Twin Cities courses, although many are protected by water, trees or OB. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Prestwick is the sheer manicured feel of the course. The fairways are immaculate, as are the greens. (One green, the third is a temporary. However, unlike other courses that have a temporary green or two, Prestwick went the extra mile by actually constructing a real temporary green, complete with a bunker, while the new third green idles by growing grass). Every shot in the fairway has the ball sitting up pretty, ready for that all-important second shot to the green.
The 19th hole features a nice little restaurant/bar that serves up beer and has a nice little deck that overlooks the scenic 18th hole and green. Prestwick also has a driving range, and nice putting/chipping green adjacent to the first tee.
Prestwick has also attracted attention recently as a Green course, by allowing some rough acreage to grow wild and cutting back on the use of pesticides and herbicides. These kinds of practices are welcome in the golfing world , and alone would be enough to get me to try the course.
Prestwick has to rate among the top courses in the Twin Cities, given its fantastic grooming, innovative layout, friendly people and reasonable rates.
Prestwick Golf Course
Location: Woodbury, MN